Episode 24 Homes Under the Hammer


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Episode 24

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a five-storey guest house in Hampshire, a two-bedroom property in Kent and a bungalow in Cheshire.


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Bricks and mortar has always been a solid investment.

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But in today's market, you have to be careful your purchase doesn't end up

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falling around your ears, and taking your bank balance with it.

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But if you do your research and check your finances,

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you can still find a deal in the auction rooms.

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Many buyers have their own techniques

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when it comes to bidding at auction.

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Absolutely. Some believe you should sit at the front,

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others that you should hide at the back, and others believe

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that you should just keep a low profile and bid over the phone.

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But whether it's a wink or a wave, the end result is the same.

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Let's see what people bought on today's show.

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There's a five-storey guest house in Hampshire that's huge, and it

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even has an extension out the back.

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This just makes it a huge opportunity.

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Could appearances be deceptive?

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This two-bedroom property in Kent appears to be just too perfect.

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So far, so good. I'm a bit worried.

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And this Cheshire bungalow is very compact.

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I've seen some small kitchens in my time,

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but this is absolutely microscopic!

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Look, I can touch both sides!

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All these properties have been sold at auction, and we'll find out

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who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.

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# Do you want to go to the seaside?

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# I'm not trying to say that everybody wants to go

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# I fell in love at the seaside

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# I handle my charm with time and slight of hand... #

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I've come to look at a house in Southsea on the south coast.

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Located on the Solent, it's a lovely place to take in that sea air.

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Well, the clock tower is a landmark in Southsea.

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The area became a suburb of Portsmouth in 1809, and was named

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after the Southsea Castle, Henry VII's castle nearby.

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Originally, these homes were built for skilled workers,

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and the roads named after different metals.

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Here, Copper Street, nearby, Gold and Silver Street.

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Unfortunately, though, it was one of the areas of Portsmouth

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that was most bombed during the Second World War.

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Well, maybe I could consider a change of career,

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and run a guesthouse by the sea.

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Can you see me as a bit of a landlord? Ooh, a bit of Rigsby.

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Ooh, Miss Jones... Possibly.

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This would be the place to do it for sure.

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Five storeys, it's got a partially-built extension.

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It had a guide price of £230-250,000.

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Sounds like a lot of property for the money. Let's take a look inside.

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So, what's in store behind the door? Well, I don't know.

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It has definitely that feel of an old-style guest house,

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nowhere more so than here in the dining room.

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Look, the old furniture, it's even been laid out for breakfast.

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A bit spooky. It reminds me of childhood holidays for sure,

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but I guess you could just pick this up and

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run with it as a business, if that's what you wanted to do.

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Maybe there are other options.

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Let's take a look round.

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The guest house currently has six bedrooms,

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some en suite and some not.

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The number of bedrooms could increase

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when that partially-built two-storey extension is finished.

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This one at the top has great views.

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You can even see the famous Portsmouth landmark,

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the Spinnaker Tower.

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Just!

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There are some period features -

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the elegant fireplaces...

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..and some beautiful and original ceiling roses.

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But the flooring and decor throughout

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could really do with an update.

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Well, upstairs it's definitely a bit of a maze.

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Lots of bedrooms, many of them with en suites.

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One option if you don't fancy yourself as a landlord

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could be to convert this back into a dwelling.

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You certainly have a lot of rooms,

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although you wouldn't need this many en suites, surely.

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Back downstairs on the ground floor,

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the rather ramshackle kitchen is packed to the rafters after

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its busy days as the nerve centre of the guesthouse.

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It looks as though it could do with a face-lift.

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It's also a bit dark,

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but that's explained by something exciting that's going on outside.

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Out the back you've got a building site, hence the hard hat,

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but what you've actually got

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is an extension that's partially completed.

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Double-storey extension immediately adjoining the house,

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and then through to a single-storey extension

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which leads out onto the garden.

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So the house is big anyway. This just makes it a HUGE opportunity.

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I'm thinking house of multiple occupation,

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renting to students from Portsmouth University that's close by.

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Whatever - I think this place is a potential money-spinner.

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I know about property, but I'm not an expert on Southsea, so to hear

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about the appeal of the area and the market for it,

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I invited a local estate agent to tell me more.

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The whole city of Portsmouth, and Southsea being part of that,

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has got a real mix of property.

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There's lots and lots of older two-up, two-down terraced

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houses which were built either the for the Royal Naval personnel or

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for the dockyard workers that were supporting them,

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right the way through to some attractive Victorian villas

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which were built for the well-to-do of the era,

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and everything in between,

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so it's got a real mix of properties.

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This particular road has got quite a good mix.

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There's old and new.

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This, I believe, is the last remaining guest house

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in what was a row of very similar properties.

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This side of the road at one time was all guest houses,

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this being the last one.

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The beauty of this property is its wide appeal.

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It could be lots of different things to lots of different people.

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I think it's unlikely it'll carry on as a guest house.

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It could be a lovely family house for somebody,

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if it's converted back.

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It could be converted into apartments.

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Or perhaps, due to the proximity of Portsmouth University,

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it may well go into some form of letting use,

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perhaps on a room by room basis for students at the University.

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Although the building has planning permission for flats,

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building them wouldn't be simple, and certainly cost a lot to do.

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How much might it fetch on the market

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if converted back into a house?

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As far as resale values are concerned, I'd suggest that,

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if somebody were to finish the extension

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and do a really nice job of this,

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then a nice family home in this area would probably command a price

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of around £350,000 when it's completed.

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So depending, of course, on what you want to spend on it,

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there could be quite a profit here.

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Bearing in mind the guide price of between 230 and 250,000.

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But turning this guest house into a family home

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would be a big and expensive job.

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A cheaper option that would bring in a steady income could be

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to make it student accommodation.

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As far as rental is concerned,

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I think if it were let on a room-by-room basis, assuming

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there were eight letting rooms by the time the extension is finished,

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that ought to bring in around £2,000 a month for the property.

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That may well be limited to during university term times,

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but still a very healthy income.

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Well, rare is it indeed to find a property with so many options.

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Keep it as a guest house, split it into bedsits, perhaps,

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rent to students, turn it into a family home. I mean, wow.

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Whoever takes it on, though, there's work to be done.

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Unless they just run it as it is, as a guest house.

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Tell you what, it's not going to be me.

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I don't fancy doing all those fry-ups. Let's see who bought it.

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So now we'll go to lot 130, which is Amberly International Guest House.

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Can I say 250 on that one? 250 can I say, to start me?

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Give me 230, then? 230 I have.

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And two, now? 232 do I see?

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232. And five? 235, 235. And seven?

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237 I've got. 240, I'm back to you, then, at the back. At 240 I have.

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And two now, if you like? 242. 242.

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244? 244, yes. And six?

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246 I have. And eight?

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248. 247, if it'll make a difference to you? One more? One more, do I see?

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247, well, I squeezed that one out.

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248?

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One more to you two? 248?

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And nine? 249?

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At 248,000 in the red.

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249 against you sitting down.

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At 248, I'm going to be selling for the first time.

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£248,000 for the second time.

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Third and final time at 248, with you in the red,

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it's against you sitting down, all done?

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GAVEL BANGS You've bought it, sir.

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The successful bidders were Sam and his wife Ton.

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They're joint bosses of a building company.

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They paid £248,000 for the property,

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£2,000 less than the upper guide price.

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I went to meet them to hear about their plans.

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We've been looking for an investment for our children,

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and this was something which we thought potentially we could

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turn into apartments, or use as a letting income for the future.

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Wow. You're not thinking about you, but about your children.

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How old are your children?

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Two and seven.

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-You really are planning ahead, then.

-We like to plan ahead.

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It's one of those things.

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Now is a good time to invest, as far as we see it.

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If it can stay there, generate income over the years,

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maybe they can go to university here and take it on themselves.

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# Don't mind doing it for the kids

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# So come on, jump on board

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# Take a ride, yeah... #

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Now, that's what I call real advance planning,

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providing a helping hand for their children in the very distant future.

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But what are their short-term plans for the property?

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First option, letting out to students.

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-How many bedrooms?

-Seven, eight?

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So it's got to be large.

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It's going to be very large, but we've still got to work out

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to make it comfortable for them as well.

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The other option is to turn it back into a house.

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-Oh, wow!

-I know. It's going to be big.

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Third option is to - well, we thought we were going to

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do it into flats, but I think that's going to probably be too expensive.

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The cost to convert it into, I think three,

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because it has planning for three apartments, and the cost is

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so large now, especially with the the building regs as they come now,

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it's going to be too much,

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and the resale value is going to be too little,

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so probably out of the question.

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The property cost 248,000, and depending on what they choose

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to do with it, they may need to spend a fair bit on it.

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We're looking in the region of 35 if we're going to turn it around significantly.

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If it's going to be for a house, we're going to increase the standard

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in regard to bathrooms and everything.

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If it's going to be student letting, then we're going to put in

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good products, but not necessarily top of the range,

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where we would do if it was going to be a house.

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No decision has yet been made, but they certainly know how much the options cost.

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Have they worked out a timescale?

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We're hoping to get it done in eight weeks.

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-Wow. Including finishing the extension?

-Yeah. This extension is the easy part.

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-Is it?

-As far as I can see, yeah.

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I've a funny feeling, once I start stripping things off

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things are going to start falling to bits.

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Plus we're probably going to relocate kitchens and bathrooms.

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Everything is a little dated upstairs with regards to en suites

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in bathrooms, and we're going to sort that out.

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So, Sam and Ton keeping their options open on this place, although I do get the impression

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Sam would like the final plans to be decided on sooner rather than later.

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I think they should stick with the idea of renting rooms to students.

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It's a money-making machine if they do that.

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Still, you can see what they decide later in the show.

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Bromley is London's largest borough, taking in Beckenham,

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Penge, Orpington, Biggin Hill and Chislehurst as well as Bromley itself.

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London's only 20 minutes away by train, and 35 minutes by road.

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So, if you're after a quieter suburb with excellent transport links, then Bromley could be ideal.

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Just a short walk from Bromley Station, and I'm here in Newbury Road. It's a lovely, quiet street.

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There's lots of attractive properties along here.

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I'm looking at this semi-detached, two-bedroom house today.

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The guide price? Just £200-220,000.

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That seems a very reasonable guide price for this attractive property.

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The location is fantastic as it's so close to the station.

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The 20 minute train journey into London means there will always been interest from buyers or tenants.

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OK, so, let's have a good look around.

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Well, you've got two really good sized reception rooms here and here.

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You know what, it always worries me when I walk into a property and there's nothing falling apart.

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It's all looking a bit too good to be true at the moment.

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Doesn't need decorating, the carpets are all right, you've got a lovely window here.

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A view of a pretty little courtyard garden.

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You've got the kitchen off the second reception room.

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All in really good condition.

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You have got a downstairs bathroom, though, so that could be a little bit of a negative. But so far, so good.

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I'm a bit worried.

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Let's go upstairs and check that out.

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I'm more used to subsiding walls, damp ceilings and filthy kitchens,

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but here everything looks solid, clean and in good condition.

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There's got to be something, surely?

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So, upstairs, much of the same.

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It's a mirror image of downstairs, practically.

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You've got two nice little fireplaces in each of these bedrooms.

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But through here is an incredibly small room.

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A study, a nursery, perhaps.

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It's got the boiler shoved in a corner, which, ideally, should be downstairs in the kitchen.

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You see, I would like to see a nice little en suite up here, linking from the bedroom,

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but at the end of the day you've got to think about cost, and will it be worth all that extra expenditure?

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If the buyers want to live here, it's worth considering, but probably not if they plan to rent it out.

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Mind you, having a bathroom downstairs would be handy when you come in from the garden.

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You get a really nice courtyard garden with this property.

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When you take into account the proximity of the town centre,

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it's nice to have any outside space at all.

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But you do get the feeling you're being overlooked by that.

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But the bonus, plenty of off-street parking.

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There's also off-street parking in the front garden, which is important

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as commuters using the local train station will park on the road.

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I invited a local estate agent to have a look.

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This is just around the corner from Bromley South Station, 20 minutes into central London,

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so it's ideal for the commuter.

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You've also a good primary school around the corner, which is great.

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A lot of families want to be in this area

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purely for the school and the commuter links.

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He's sold me on the area, but what about the house?

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Although it's in good condition, it's a bit soulless, a bit bland.

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The kitchen and bathroom are quite basic.

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You've got a boiler in a room upstairs which isn't ideal,

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so you should probably consider moving that downstairs.

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A percentage of the audience will say no to a downstairs bathroom,

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but by the same token there's a large amount of people

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that want three bedrooms, and that's a sacrifice you make for this price.

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I don't think it's MUCH of a sacrifice, but what would it cost to rent?

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I think in the region of £900 to £1,000 a month, realistically.

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The property went to auction with a guide price of between 200 and 220,000.

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Is that about right in today's market?

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I'd put this on the market in the region of £250,000 because we've got the stamp duty threshold at 3%.

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That extra 2% stamp duty charged on properties over 250,000 can put a lot of buyers off.

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Especially in the current climate.

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A good, solid property that doesn't require too much work.

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Once renovated, though, it would struggle to break through the £250,000 barrier.

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So anyone taking this on to sell should be aware of that before auction day.

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Having said that, there's a healthy rental return, and it'll be a good long-term investment.

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Let's see who else thought so, as we go to auction.

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40 Newbury Road in Bromley, Kent.

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It's guided at 200, 220.

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Lovely one, this one. What can I see for the first one?

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Can I see a bid of 200 to start it off? Give me 190.

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Not going lower than 190. It's bid. 190, I want to start it at. 190,000, 190 I've got.

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200 I'm looking for. 200 anywhere?

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200 I've got. 210? 210.

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We've got 200,000 on the right-hand side. 210, anywhere else?

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210 in a fresh place. 220. I'll take 15 at this stage.

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215 from a maiden bidder. 220 I'm looking for.

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220 on the right, 220, and five.

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225, and 30.

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230. 230 I'm now looking for.

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I'll be selling to the lady at 225,000 on my left-hand side.

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Are you sure you're out? 230.

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225 for the second time.

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Third and final time at 230.

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230, and five. 235 I'm looking for.

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232?

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232.

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235? 232,000 on the left-hand side, I'll be selling for 232,000 for the first time.

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232,000, if you're sure you're out, for the second time. 235. And seven?

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237? No.

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235 is with you on the right-hand side now.

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237. If you're sure you're out, I'll be selling for 235 then, for the first time.

0:19:020:19:06

Selling at 235 for the second time.

0:19:060:19:09

Third and final time at 235,000 on my right, I will be selling.

0:19:090:19:14

If you're all done, 235, it's sold.

0:19:140:19:17

The winning bid of £235,000, 15 grand above the upper guide price,

0:19:190:19:24

came from 19-year-old Amy and Sarah, who's 22.

0:19:240:19:30

-Have you bought this house for yourselves? I saw you bidding at the auction.

-Yes, that was me.

0:19:380:19:42

No, we had actually bought it to rent, to do up, and let somebody else live in it.

0:19:420:19:47

-So what's your relationship?

-We're sisters.

-You're sisters?

-Yes.

-Who's the oldest?

-I am.

0:19:470:19:53

That's why you were bidding on auction day! You're incredibly young to be buying property.

0:19:530:20:00

-Is this your first property?

-Yes, this is the first one.

0:20:000:20:03

Our parents do it as a living, they do property developing. But this is our first project.

0:20:030:20:07

They've given us plenty of advice and helped us along the way.

0:20:070:20:10

It's been good to have someone who knows what they're talking about.

0:20:100:20:12

-Were they quite keen for you guys to do the bidding as well on auction day?

-Yes, very keen.

0:20:120:20:17

They want us to take control of the project, and if we need a hand, they'll be there,

0:20:170:20:21

but they kind of want us to do it.

0:20:210:20:23

# Sisters are doing it for themselves... #

0:20:230:20:27

With their parents in the property business, is it their chosen career, too?

0:20:270:20:33

I've actually just finished at uni, so I've been studying chemical engineering before this.

0:20:330:20:38

I've got a job, but I'm not starting until April, so to fill the gap

0:20:380:20:41

-I'm doing a bit of this property developing.

-And what about you, Amy?

0:20:410:20:45

I just started uni a month ago,

0:20:450:20:48

I'm doing mechanical engineering, so two engineers in the family, but I'm enjoying it so far, it's good.

0:20:480:20:54

So is property developing something you think you'd like to do just as a sideline because of your parents?

0:20:540:21:00

We definitely want to continue it and see where it goes,

0:21:000:21:04

-and get a few more properties, it's a good income to have.

-Yeah, between us.

-Yeah.

0:21:040:21:08

This isn't a bad one to start with.

0:21:110:21:13

Was it beginner's luck?

0:21:130:21:15

We've been looking around quite a bit.

0:21:150:21:17

We knew the location was important for us,

0:21:170:21:20

and this one is so near to the station you can commute into London, so that kind of sold it for us.

0:21:200:21:25

Yeah, pretty much that's all we were looking for.

0:21:250:21:28

And who did all the research? Were you both doing it independently?

0:21:280:21:31

-We do it together.

-So who is it who spotted this house?

0:21:310:21:35

We were just looking through the auction programme

0:21:350:21:38

and because this one is so near to our family home, it'd be convenient if we needed to do any work,

0:21:380:21:42

so this kind of jumped out from the beginning.

0:21:420:21:45

So did you view the property prior to the auction, Amy?

0:21:450:21:48

I didn't, I saw it today for the first time.

0:21:480:21:51

-So you've seen it for the first time today?

-Yeah.

0:21:510:21:53

-Wow! What do you think?

-I really like it, I was surprised to come in.

0:21:530:21:56

It was a lot better than I thought it would be.

0:21:560:21:58

-Really?

-It was a good surprise.

0:21:580:22:00

She shouldn't only be surprised, but very pleased that they managed to pick such a good property.

0:22:000:22:06

It only needs a bit of decorating and tidying up, unless of course they move that bathroom upstairs.

0:22:060:22:11

It seems OK to have it down here, it's not too much of a problem.

0:22:110:22:14

So what about putting in a bathroom upstairs?

0:22:140:22:17

You've got that very small room off of the main bedroom,

0:22:170:22:19

you can't do a lot with that, you've got a boiler stuck in the corner...

0:22:190:22:23

-Yeah.

-Any thoughts on that?

0:22:230:22:25

We're thinking about putting in a basic shower, bath and toilet, but I think it depends whether

0:22:250:22:30

we're going to get more renting income, whether it will be worth making the investment.

0:22:300:22:35

Such wise heads on young shoulders.

0:22:350:22:38

What about their budget?

0:22:380:22:40

We're either going to spend about five grand and do it up to a nice standard, or if we can find

0:22:450:22:50

somebody who wants to rent it as it is, then we don't have much to do other than a bit of cleaning.

0:22:500:22:56

So how soon are you going to be cracking on with this, how long is it going to take you?

0:22:560:22:59

We need to talk to some estate agents within the next couple of days, see what they say,

0:22:590:23:04

-and hopefully, if we can rent it immediately, it should be within the next couple of months or so.

-Really?

0:23:040:23:09

-Hopefully, yeah.

-Just as quick as possible. Even if we're painting the whole thing,

0:23:090:23:13

it'd only take a week, so as soon as possible, it won't be long.

0:23:130:23:18

Who out of the two of you is the one that's going to be barking all the orders?

0:23:180:23:21

-No, teamwork, definitely.

-We're quite evenly placed, yeah.

0:23:210:23:25

-Really?

-YEAH!

-I have to say, you're very similar, you both laugh

0:23:250:23:28

at the same time, you've got the same sort of mannerisms.

0:23:280:23:31

-People say that a lot.

-Even though she's older, she's not bossy?

-No.

-Not at all.

0:23:310:23:36

-So you're sisters that get on well?

-We do, we get on really well.

0:23:360:23:40

So it shouldn't be a problem working together.

0:23:400:23:42

Sarah and Amy haven't got too much to do to turn this around, and I think they're making the right decision

0:23:420:23:49

renting this out. The question is, will they do anything to it?

0:23:490:23:53

You can find out how the fledgling property developers get on later.

0:23:530:23:57

Coming up, I take a sentimental journey to Cheshire.

0:24:010:24:04

My property career started here.

0:24:060:24:08

In Kent, a lot of elbow grease has gone into this semi.

0:24:090:24:13

The guys who were painting it have made a bit of a mess,

0:24:130:24:16

so it's been a continuous cycle of cleaning everything.

0:24:160:24:19

But first, this house in Hampshire is spacious,

0:24:210:24:24

but still there are tight spaces.

0:24:240:24:26

The biggest task was getting the bed in here.

0:24:260:24:28

Back in Southsea,

0:24:330:24:35

Sam and Ton had bought a guest house for £248,000 at auction.

0:24:350:24:41

It came with a double extension and many options.

0:24:420:24:47

It could be converted into a family home or into three separate flats,

0:24:470:24:51

or let out to students from nearby Portsmouth University.

0:24:510:24:55

We've been looking for an investment for our children

0:24:550:24:58

and this was something which we thought we could

0:24:580:25:01

potentially turn into apartments,

0:25:010:25:03

or use as a letting income for the future.

0:25:030:25:05

# Everything I do

0:25:050:25:10

# I do it for you... #

0:25:100:25:12

Sam and Ton decided to go for the student rental option.

0:25:120:25:17

They finished the extension and turned the whole of its ground floor

0:25:170:25:22

into a kitchen-dining area.

0:25:220:25:24

The old kitchen, which was as cluttered and a bit out of date,

0:25:290:25:33

is now a utility room.

0:25:330:25:35

To increase the potential income,

0:25:360:25:39

they built two extra bedrooms - one in the extension above the kitchen,

0:25:390:25:43

and this one which also has its own shower.

0:25:430:25:46

Back in the main part of the building, that old guest house

0:25:490:25:53

dining room has become the property's eighth bedroom.

0:25:530:25:56

They've done an impressive job converting this place into student apartments.

0:25:560:26:01

Has their original plan changed as much as the property?

0:26:010:26:05

We did think about having it for our children,

0:26:050:26:08

primarily because it was going to be split up into three apartments.

0:26:080:26:12

But the feasibility of it, and also financially, it wasn't suitable,

0:26:120:26:17

so we're doing it this way and to be quite honest,

0:26:170:26:21

if we make a decent return on it,

0:26:210:26:23

or if it brings out a decent rental return,

0:26:230:26:26

we'll use that money to invest in something else for the children.

0:26:260:26:29

There's loads of students around here,

0:26:290:26:31

we've spoken to a few rental agents and they've said they can rent it out straight away.

0:26:310:26:36

The option of turning this into a student rental, instead of a home

0:26:360:26:40

or converting it into three flats, was a very good decision.

0:26:400:26:44

In a city with a university there's always going to be the need for good

0:26:440:26:47

quality accommodation, but to do this they'll have to be licensed

0:26:470:26:52

as a house of multiple occupancy.

0:26:520:26:55

We're in the process of applying for an HMO. We've still got all

0:26:550:26:59

the fire certificates which are all up to date,

0:26:590:27:02

all the fire doors, etc,

0:27:020:27:04

all the smokes are linked.

0:27:040:27:06

We just have to get an inspection,

0:27:060:27:09

we have to get the electrician to write it off and the plumber.

0:27:090:27:14

It's not far off, really, and we're there.

0:27:140:27:16

Sam mentioned that the property needed an inspection, so I think we should be the first to look around.

0:27:180:27:25

This room here we've had all rewired, for safety, mainly.

0:27:250:27:30

Furniture-wise, I've just had all this painted, rubbed down,

0:27:300:27:34

the same as up here, all rubbed down.

0:27:340:27:36

The biggest task was getting the bed in here

0:27:360:27:38

because it's a full-size one,

0:27:380:27:40

it was just a small one in here to start with.

0:27:400:27:42

But I think it's everyone's favourite room cos

0:27:420:27:45

you've got the panoramic view and it's nice and toasty.

0:27:450:27:48

Well, initially when I came in here it was a completely empty shell.

0:27:500:27:54

Most of the flooring was down, I mean there were floorboards missing.

0:27:540:27:58

I don't think you could get in here before.

0:27:580:28:01

This wall was partially up,

0:28:010:28:03

so initially we were toying with the idea of putting a bathroom in here,

0:28:030:28:08

again if it was going to be a house we would have done,

0:28:080:28:11

but because it's students we decided to just go for a shower room,

0:28:110:28:15

and I think it's come out great.

0:28:150:28:17

I think it looks fantastic.

0:28:170:28:19

In fact I think this would be my room, if I was a student anyway.

0:28:190:28:24

Turning the guest house into student accommodation

0:28:270:28:30

was the cheapest option available to them.

0:28:300:28:32

We were aiming for about 20.

0:28:340:28:36

Things went up - the plumber went up,

0:28:360:28:39

but some things went down so we didn't do...

0:28:390:28:41

The electrician went up.

0:28:410:28:43

I mean, I was pleased in regard to the amount of material

0:28:430:28:47

that I've been able to reuse.

0:28:470:28:50

Also, to be honest, because of the amount of time I've spent on the job,

0:28:500:28:55

we've brought our budget, we were hoping for 20, and it's come in...

0:28:550:28:59

-Just over.

-Just over 18 and a half.

0:28:590:29:01

No, it was about 18 and a half, wasn't it?

0:29:010:29:03

Something like that, just over.

0:29:030:29:04

They bought the property for £248,000

0:29:040:29:09

and spent around £18,500 doing it up.

0:29:090:29:13

They saved money because Sam's a builder

0:29:130:29:15

and did some of the jobs himself. How long did it all take?

0:29:150:29:18

It's taken about eight weeks,

0:29:190:29:21

because Sam went off and did a couple of other jobs.

0:29:210:29:24

We spoke to rental agents and we knew we weren't

0:29:240:29:26

really going to get students in before Christmas,

0:29:260:29:29

there wasn't a hurry,

0:29:290:29:30

so Sam went off and did a couple of bits of Bob's for other people,

0:29:300:29:34

so I think about eight weeks.

0:29:340:29:35

Bits and bobs? Yeah, a couple of other quite large jobs,

0:29:350:29:39

so we've been lucky in regard to tying it in with other work, yeah.

0:29:390:29:43

To check it was worth Sam at doing this work between his other

0:29:440:29:48

bits and bobs, we invited two local estate agents to look take a look.

0:29:480:29:53

It's newly refurbished, very presentable,

0:29:530:29:55

lots of en suite facilities, and the location is superb.

0:29:550:29:58

A good-sized property,

0:29:580:30:00

great location, most of the rooms are good sizes as well.

0:30:000:30:03

You've got the odd small room,

0:30:030:30:05

but then you do in every property.

0:30:050:30:06

A nice kitchen dining area as well.

0:30:060:30:08

Sam and Ton are going to let a management company

0:30:100:30:13

look after renting out the property as a whole.

0:30:130:30:15

That means they won't have to worry about individual flats

0:30:150:30:19

and will get just one income per calendar month.

0:30:190:30:21

If the whole house is occupied, we're looking at somewhere in the region of £2,000 per calendar month

0:30:210:30:27

which, yearly, is somewhere around £25,000, which is a good investment.

0:30:270:30:31

This property would rent at £2,225 per calendar month.

0:30:310:30:36

That's good. That's more than I was actually hoping.

0:30:360:30:40

It's more than we were thinking.

0:30:400:30:42

I'm not surprised that's more than they expected,

0:30:440:30:47

it's a very impressive 9-10% yield.

0:30:470:30:49

But what if they wanted to sell?

0:30:490:30:51

What's it worth on the open market?

0:30:510:30:54

If they were looking to sell it in the current market,

0:30:540:30:57

I would be looking to achieve somewhere between £350,000 and £375,000.

0:30:570:31:01

I'd put this property on the market for £350,000.

0:31:010:31:05

A nice turn around.

0:31:070:31:08

-And who were they?

-Yeah!

0:31:080:31:10

Sam and Ton can afford to smile.

0:31:120:31:16

They paid £248,000 at auction for this property

0:31:160:31:20

and then spent £18,500 on it.

0:31:200:31:22

If they sold it for between £350,000 and £375,000,

0:31:220:31:26

that would mean a potential profit of £83,500 - £108,500,

0:31:260:31:32

minus usual deductions.

0:31:320:31:34

That's a very useful nest-egg for their children.

0:31:340:31:37

Today, I'm heading back to my roots in Cheshire.

0:31:440:31:49

This is Irwell Road, halfway between Warrington and trendy Stockton Heath.

0:31:490:31:55

And this isn't the house that I'm here to see,

0:31:550:31:58

that's just round the corner.

0:31:580:31:59

However, it is a very significant property to me,

0:31:590:32:02

because my grandma used to live here

0:32:020:32:04

and when she died mum and dad sold it and used some of the money

0:32:040:32:08

to enable me to buy my first house.

0:32:080:32:10

So, if you like, my property career started here. Thank you, Grandma.

0:32:100:32:15

# Is this the place, we used to love?

0:32:150:32:20

# Is this the place that I've been dreaming of? #

0:32:200:32:26

Well the property I'm here to see is a slightly unusual one.

0:32:320:32:35

It's in this row of terraced bungalows -

0:32:350:32:38

we don't see that very often.

0:32:380:32:40

It could be a space-saving exercise,

0:32:400:32:42

or maybe they just ran out of money after they built the first floor.

0:32:420:32:45

Either way, this is it.

0:32:450:32:47

At a guide price of £70-80,000, two bedrooms, let's take a look.

0:32:470:32:52

It's certainly an odd one.

0:32:540:32:56

Bungalows are usually detached with a sizable plot of land around them,

0:32:560:33:00

but here it looks like they've sliced at the top off a terrace and bunged on a roof.

0:33:000:33:05

Well it's not going to be massively spacious, is it?

0:33:050:33:08

But, actually, it's not too bad.

0:33:080:33:10

The front sitting room here,

0:33:100:33:11

lots of light pouring in through the windows, not a bad-sized space,

0:33:110:33:15

gas fire, want to have that checked out.

0:33:150:33:17

It's a bit tired, a bit dated,

0:33:170:33:19

as you can tell by the carpet and the wallpaper.

0:33:190:33:21

But overall, hmm, it's looking positive.

0:33:210:33:25

It actually feels cosy without being cramped.

0:33:250:33:28

I'd get rid of the patterned paper.

0:33:280:33:30

Just doing that would make it feel even bigger.

0:33:300:33:33

The front bedroom is also a bit floral,

0:33:330:33:37

but space-wise it's not bad.

0:33:370:33:40

Aside from some peeling wallpaper,

0:33:400:33:43

I really can't see anything wrong with it.

0:33:430:33:45

The same goes for the back bedroom, though the theme has moved from

0:33:450:33:49

flowers to fruit - oranges in the case of this carpet.

0:33:490:33:53

But this is all superficial. The room itself is very pleasant

0:33:530:33:56

and you could take out that fitted wardrobe to make it larger.

0:33:560:34:00

The bathroom is, well, it's black,

0:34:000:34:02

but not with dirt, I'm pleased to say. I rather like those tiles.

0:34:020:34:07

It's a decent space, and with a shower installed it would be ideal.

0:34:070:34:12

So, the bedrooms are fine, the loo and bathroom's fine,

0:34:120:34:15

what absolutely isn't fine is the kitchen!

0:34:150:34:18

I mean, I know the bungalow is small,

0:34:180:34:20

but this is absolutely microscopic!

0:34:200:34:22

Look, I can touch both sides!

0:34:220:34:24

The bad news is, I can't really figure out a way of improving this.

0:34:240:34:27

There's a cupboard at the end there that you could take out,

0:34:270:34:30

you can't knock this wall down,

0:34:300:34:32

I think it's going to be basically about choosing your units carefully,

0:34:320:34:36

choosing your decorations carefully,

0:34:360:34:38

and making the most of what is a pretty small space.

0:34:380:34:42

Perhaps the answer to gaining some floor space in this bungalow lies elsewhere.

0:34:440:34:50

At the back here - a decent-sized rear garden

0:34:500:34:53

which is definitely good to have,

0:34:530:34:55

but what can you do to increase the interior space?

0:34:550:34:58

And much-needed THAT is.

0:34:580:34:59

Well here's an idea, look what the next door neighbours have done.

0:34:590:35:02

They've put a dormer on there and created an entire new room upstairs.

0:35:020:35:06

In that loft... you have the potential,

0:35:060:35:09

it's an untapped potential, to do that.

0:35:090:35:11

I reckon stick one of those in

0:35:110:35:13

and you'd really change this bungalow around completely.

0:35:130:35:16

Converting the loft,

0:35:190:35:20

subject to planning permission of course,

0:35:200:35:22

means there's an opportunity to rearrange the layout downstairs.

0:35:220:35:26

It also broadens the market for this property to include families.

0:35:260:35:29

And there's another little extra just a short distance away.

0:35:290:35:32

It's a bit of a walk across the tarmac, but the property does come with your very own garage,

0:35:320:35:37

a perfect place for a workshop, storing your tools,

0:35:370:35:40

the usual things that people do with garages - basically fill them with junk.

0:35:400:35:44

In terms of a car parking space,

0:35:440:35:46

well, there is already car parking right outside the property.

0:35:460:35:49

So in terms of adding value?

0:35:490:35:50

Well, in London, this might add a couple of hundred thousand quid, you never know.

0:35:500:35:55

Here in Warrington, it's nice to have.

0:35:550:35:58

I like this bungalow and the area, not only because it has sentimental value for me,

0:35:580:36:03

but it's a good property in a convenient location, and a loft extension

0:36:030:36:08

could make it even more appealing.

0:36:080:36:10

I asked a local estate agent for his opinion.

0:36:110:36:13

Certainly, having had a look through the property,

0:36:130:36:16

it does need total redecoration.

0:36:160:36:18

The main areas, bathroom and kitchen.

0:36:180:36:21

Whether one incorporates the kitchen into another room,

0:36:210:36:24

is a matter of choice.

0:36:240:36:25

It's not a large property, it's adequate in its accommodation.

0:36:250:36:29

It's obviously restricted, probably to first-time buyers or a retirement couple,

0:36:290:36:33

a little bit tight for a family, but it's got marvellous potential

0:36:330:36:36

and it's the convenience that it has to Warrington and Stockton Heath.

0:36:360:36:40

I think that's what will probably draw the buyer to it.

0:36:400:36:43

It's a good investment property, it would rent well.

0:36:430:36:46

So, a good location with plenty of potential, and it should rent easily - but how lucratively?

0:36:460:36:52

The property would rent in my opinion at £450-£470 per calendar month.

0:36:530:36:58

The bungalow went to auction with a guide price of 70,000-80,000, but what could it be sold on for?

0:37:000:37:05

Once renovated, I feel that the property would be on the market at £120,000.

0:37:070:37:12

Well, small but perfectly formed - what this bungalow lacks in size, it makes up for in location.

0:37:130:37:20

And even a pint-sized property like this, around here is definitely something worth going for.

0:37:200:37:25

Plus, there is scope for development.

0:37:250:37:28

Let's see who fancied it when it went to the auction.

0:37:280:37:30

5 Arnside Grove at Warrington,

0:37:340:37:37

80,000 for it?

0:37:370:37:38

70 then?

0:37:390:37:41

At 60, all right. 60,000, I've got.

0:37:410:37:44

At 62,500, I've got you, sir. At 62,500.

0:37:440:37:47

Yes, 65. 67,500, sir? At 67,500.

0:37:470:37:52

At 67... 70, At £70,000. Two and a half, sir?

0:37:520:37:57

72,500.

0:37:570:37:58

75, at 77,500, I've got you.

0:37:580:38:01

78,500, all right, you're tempting providence, it's 78,500.

0:38:010:38:04

At £80,000.

0:38:040:38:07

At 81 here. At 81.

0:38:070:38:09

At 82, sir?

0:38:090:38:10

82,000. At 83, I've got you.

0:38:100:38:13

84, sir?

0:38:130:38:14

84,000. At 84,500.

0:38:140:38:18

At 85. At 86, at £86,000.

0:38:180:38:22

87? At £86,000

0:38:220:38:24

it's going to the highest bidder once, twice...

0:38:240:38:28

87. 88, sir?

0:38:280:38:30

500, then. Don't miss it for 500.

0:38:300:38:32

At 87,000. 87,500. At 87,500. 88.

0:38:320:38:39

At £88,000. At £88,000 once, the bid is with you, sir. At £88,000 twice.

0:38:390:38:47

At 88,000 it's with you, sir, I'm selling for the third and final time.

0:38:470:38:51

HAMMER BANGS

0:38:510:38:53

The successful bid of 88,000 - £8,000 above the guide price - was made by Mark.

0:38:530:39:00

Now, he may look familiar as he's been on this show before - not once, but twice.

0:39:000:39:06

# It's deja-vu... #

0:39:060:39:09

When we first met him in April 2006, he was buying his fifth property.

0:39:110:39:17

I went to get an update on Mark and his newest property.

0:39:170:39:21

This is project number 59, now.

0:39:210:39:24

-59?

-Yeah.

-Wow!

0:39:240:39:27

Been quite a successful few years, then?

0:39:270:39:30

I've been busy, that's for sure.

0:39:300:39:32

Tell me what you've been up to.

0:39:320:39:34

Well, I've... At first - I started when the property market was buoyant - I was buying,

0:39:340:39:39

doing up quickly, and selling quickly, and I was doing OK at that.

0:39:390:39:44

Then we started to get into a bit of difficulty.

0:39:440:39:46

I was left with four properties that I couldn't sell,

0:39:460:39:49

I had no option but to let them out because I was quite heavily financed on them,

0:39:490:39:54

and luckily, interest rates started coming down,

0:39:540:39:57

so that then provided me an income, which then allowed me to continue.

0:39:570:40:02

Since then, I've been buying on a buy-to-let basis,

0:40:020:40:06

and I've been buying something like one a month, basically, since then.

0:40:060:40:10

-So you've changed your strategy?

-I've had to.

0:40:100:40:13

The old strategy doesn't work at the moment - or doesn't work for me, anyway!

0:40:130:40:17

He did the right thing by adapting his strategy around the changing property market.

0:40:180:40:23

He bought this bungalow specifically to rent it out.

0:40:230:40:27

I could rent it as it is, right now, it's not that bad,

0:40:270:40:30

or I could...do a full refurb job on it and get more.

0:40:300:40:35

The difficulty is, if I do a full refurb job on it, it might take me something like...

0:40:350:40:40

I think I worked out, five years to get the money back on the increased rent that I would get.

0:40:400:40:46

Oh, wow.

0:40:460:40:47

So I'm probably going to end up just decorating and changing the carpets,

0:40:470:40:52

and pretty much leaving the bathroom and kitchen as it is.

0:40:520:40:55

What difference would it have made to the rent and how much would it have cost to do these things?

0:40:550:41:01

OK. I have taken advice and I've looked at the numbers myself.

0:41:010:41:06

I think I could rent this in its current condition, right now, for £400.

0:41:060:41:10

I figured that if I spent something like £6,000-£7,000 on it, I could probably get £500 a month.

0:41:100:41:17

-Right.

-I think the top-end rent I could get if I change the bathroom and the kitchen

0:41:170:41:23

and really went to town on it,

0:41:230:41:25

the best I could do is probably 575 or maybe 600 for this particular property.

0:41:250:41:30

So on that basis of, say, an extra £100 a month, that's £1,200 a year.

0:41:300:41:36

If you've spent £6,000, that's five years or whatever.

0:41:360:41:39

It takes a while to get it back, so you ask, "Is it worth it?"

0:41:390:41:42

I think what I'd prefer to do, is put a new kitchen and bathroom in it when I come to sell it,

0:41:420:41:46

five or six, maybe ten years' time, whenever the right time is.

0:41:460:41:50

So anything like putting a dormer in is out of the question?

0:41:500:41:53

I don't believe I can get much more increase in rent

0:41:530:41:57

by putting a dormer in, that's another increased cost again.

0:41:570:42:00

The strategy might be different when I come to sell it.

0:42:000:42:03

It might be worth turning it into a three-bedroom house rather than a two-bedroom,

0:42:030:42:08

so that's a possibility.

0:42:080:42:09

Mark's done all the sums and is only going to do work that will add value to the property.

0:42:090:42:15

There's not a lot to do here, so it should be ready for letting out soon.

0:42:150:42:18

If I stick with that plan, four weeks tops,

0:42:180:42:23

if I'm talking bathroom and kitchen as well, I might go the whole hog, you'll come back, I might do it...

0:42:230:42:29

-You might do the kitchen and bathroom?!

-I might do.

-No!

0:42:290:42:32

After all you've just said?

0:42:320:42:34

Well, it goes back to the labour of love.

0:42:340:42:36

You've seen the properties I've done in the past, I like doing this, you know.

0:42:360:42:40

Commercially, I shouldn't do anything, just get people in the door,

0:42:400:42:44

£400 a month, thank you very much.

0:42:440:42:46

-But...

-MARTIN LAUGHS

0:42:460:42:48

-I know.

-Well, you can't knock it, it's been successful for you,

0:42:480:42:51

whether the strategy is completely right or not,

0:42:510:42:54

it's working for you, so I don't think you can knock it.

0:42:540:42:57

So, Mark's showing exactly what it takes to be a successful property investor.

0:42:570:43:03

You need to adapt to market conditions to survive.

0:43:030:43:06

That is exactly what he has done,

0:43:060:43:08

and over the last three years, we've followed his successes on Homes Under The Hammer.

0:43:080:43:13

I'm sure there will be many more.

0:43:130:43:15

With this place? Well, as far as I'm concerned the big question is, will he let his heart rule his head?

0:43:150:43:21

I think he might.

0:43:210:43:23

You can find out how he gets on later in the show.

0:43:230:43:26

Well, there's no time like the present and we're dying to see how our buyers have got on.

0:43:290:43:34

Yeah, let's go back and find out.

0:43:340:43:36

This two-bedroom semi-detached house in Bromley was bought at auction for 235,000.

0:43:370:43:43

It's only a short walk from Bromley train station, which is then just a 20-minute commute into London.

0:43:430:43:49

The property, which was in good condition, was bought by sisters, Sarah and Amy,

0:43:500:43:55

whose parents are property developers.

0:43:550:43:57

They want us to take control of the project.

0:43:570:44:00

If we need a hand, they'll be there, but they want us to do it.

0:44:000:44:03

As it happened, the girls were very lucky. There wasn't that much to do.

0:44:030:44:08

# You're the lucky one So I've been told

0:44:080:44:11

# As free as the wind blowing down the road

0:44:110:44:15

# Loved by many Hated by none

0:44:150:44:17

# I'd say you were lucky cos I know what you've done

0:44:170:44:20

# Not a care in the world Not a worry inside

0:44:200:44:23

# Everything's going to be all right

0:44:230:44:25

# Cos you're the lucky one... #

0:44:250:44:28

We've just kind of painted all the walls,

0:44:280:44:31

we've cleaned very well the whole place, and we've got new curtains in and that's about it, really.

0:44:310:44:36

An alarm system and that's all.

0:44:360:44:38

You make it all sound so easy.

0:44:390:44:41

But, hang on, weren't there two of you before?

0:44:410:44:44

Amy's been quite busy at uni but she's been back when she's had the time.

0:44:460:44:50

She's been on the phone checking everything's OK.

0:44:500:44:52

So, she's been involved.

0:44:520:44:54

Ah, good. Let's see what they've been doing, then.

0:44:560:44:58

OK, all we've done in here is just put in some new doors.

0:45:010:45:04

We've used glass ones to let the light through the house a lot more.

0:45:040:45:07

And just some new handles on them and painted them all nicely.

0:45:070:45:11

We've also added a new curtain in here, so I now know how to use a sewing machine, as well!

0:45:110:45:16

That's the thing about property development - you're always learning.

0:45:180:45:22

The sisters decided not to turn this small room into a new bathroom

0:45:230:45:28

and kept the original one downstairs next to the kitchen.

0:45:280:45:31

Have they had any problems?

0:45:330:45:34

There's been a lot of time spent on cleaning.

0:45:340:45:37

Every time we've cleaned the house, the guys painting it have made a bit of mess.

0:45:370:45:41

So, it's been a continuous cycle of cleaning everything.

0:45:410:45:44

But it's made such a difference to the whole place, especially the kitchen.

0:45:440:45:48

So, yes, it's been worth it.

0:45:490:45:50

Well, it certainly looks sparkling and fresh as a result of all that elbow grease.

0:45:510:45:57

It turns out that Sarah's mum and dad have been helping out.

0:45:570:46:00

When I've been busy or away from the project,

0:46:000:46:02

my dad's been here making sure the guys get on with it.

0:46:020:46:05

My mum has also been around just helping me clean and making tea for everyone

0:46:050:46:10

so it's been quite... quite a good family event.

0:46:100:46:14

How did the sisters get on outside?

0:46:150:46:17

I have to admit outside isn't my strong point.

0:46:190:46:21

I've just done... My dad's done a lot of pressure washing of all the stones out here

0:46:210:46:26

and I think it's made a big difference, it looks a lot cleaner.

0:46:260:46:29

My mum's done a lot of gardening, trimming all the shrubs

0:46:290:46:32

and it generally makes the space a lot bigger.

0:46:320:46:34

We've also put a new roof on the shed just to make it watertight

0:46:340:46:38

and put a security light up so that, even in the night time, they can use the space.

0:46:380:46:42

It's lovely to have somewhere to relax or sunbathe

0:46:430:46:46

even if it's overlooked by a multi-storey car park!

0:46:460:46:50

I can't imagine that costs here have been particularly high so far.

0:46:520:46:57

I'd say we've definitely spend under £1,000. Probably about £900, so a small budget.

0:46:570:47:02

It is a low spend, but the girls were very lucky with this house and that it was in such good condition.

0:47:020:47:09

They're planning on renting it out, so what have they done to ensure they're good landlords?

0:47:090:47:14

We've just done all the regular safety - the gas checks and certificates.

0:47:140:47:18

We've put in smoke alarms everywhere and we've installed a burglar alarm. There's sensors in every room,

0:47:180:47:23

just so the tenants are going to feel safe when they're here.

0:47:230:47:27

The girls seem ready to go. To check it out,

0:47:270:47:30

we invited a couple of local estate agents to give us their opinion.

0:47:300:47:34

It's a good looking property.

0:47:350:47:37

It's got nice windows, it's got good kerb appeal.

0:47:370:47:39

It's still bare brick, which is nice. It keeps it original.

0:47:390:47:42

The property's changed a lot, actually.

0:47:420:47:44

Good, fresh lick of paint everywhere.

0:47:440:47:46

Nice, dressed curtains, dressed all the windows nicely.

0:47:460:47:50

New blinds in the kitchen, chose very nicely.

0:47:500:47:53

It's a nice, newly decorated property.

0:47:530:47:56

It's neutral, which is good. People can then see what they can do to put their own stamp on it.

0:47:560:48:01

It looks as though the girls have landed on their feet with this one.

0:48:020:48:07

And that it should rent out fairly easily.

0:48:070:48:09

I think to rent this out, on a calendar month

0:48:090:48:12

you're probably looking in the region of £900 - £1,000.

0:48:120:48:16

I would market the property at £1,000 per month and hope to achieve about £950 per month.

0:48:160:48:21

We had a tenant that fell through. They were meant to be moving in

0:48:210:48:25

tomorrow but we've actually had another offer on the property

0:48:250:48:28

so we're really happy and that's for £1,000 a month. That's exactly what we wanted.

0:48:280:48:32

Well, they certainly seem to have a guardian angel.

0:48:320:48:35

They only bought it a month ago for £235,000 and have spent less than £1,000 doing it up.

0:48:350:48:41

Could they already have added value to it?

0:48:410:48:45

I would put this property on the market for £259,950 to achieve somewhere in the region of £250,000.

0:48:450:48:52

I would market this property at £255,000 to achieve £250,000.

0:48:520:48:59

Because of the stamp duty threshold, you'd struggle to get over that.

0:48:590:49:04

I'm really happy. I didn't think it would go up in price as it's only

0:49:040:49:07

been a month since we've been doing up the place. I'm really pleased.

0:49:070:49:11

If they sell it for £250,000, that's a potential profit of around £14,000,

0:49:160:49:22

minus the usual deductions.

0:49:220:49:24

Not bad for four weeks's work!

0:49:240:49:28

It's been quite easy for both of us. Obviously the project hasn't had

0:49:280:49:31

too many complications and there hasn't been too much stress.

0:49:310:49:35

So it means that we're ready to do another one soon.

0:49:350:49:37

I'm really impressed with Sarah and Amy's first venture into the property development world.

0:49:370:49:42

They made a clever investment here and benefited from their parents' experience of the business.

0:49:420:49:48

Even those doors were left over from a project their father was doing.

0:49:480:49:52

If they keep this up,

0:49:520:49:53

it might be curtains for their engineering careers.

0:49:530:49:58

Mark bought this two-bedroom bungalow in Cheshire at auction.

0:50:050:50:09

He paid £88,000 with the sole intention of renting it out.

0:50:090:50:14

I could rent it as it is, right now. It's not that bad.

0:50:150:50:19

Or I could do a full refurb job on it and get more.

0:50:190:50:24

Four months on and it looks like someone's moved in.

0:50:340:50:38

Not a huge amount has changed, though there has been some redecoration. What's the story then?

0:50:380:50:45

Well, Mark did replace the boiler and get the required gas and electrical safety tests done.

0:50:450:50:51

Before spending big money on refurbishment, he advertised

0:50:510:50:54

the bungalow at a low rent just to see if there were any takers.

0:50:540:50:59

There's quite a few things I was going to do, which is change the bathroom and the kitchen.

0:50:590:51:04

And generally change the decor, just kind of modernise the place.

0:51:040:51:09

That would have meant I'd have had to charge a lot more rent, in the region of something like 525-550.

0:51:090:51:17

But as I didn't have to do a great deal to the property, I was happy to let at £395 per calendar month.

0:51:170:51:24

As luck would have it, the timing was perfect for young couple, Nicola and Andrew.

0:51:240:51:29

They were delighted to move into the bungalow, pay a lower rent

0:51:290:51:33

and just to do enough improvements themselves to make it feel like home.

0:51:330:51:38

We basically just, needed somewhere to live, it was getting a bit expensive where we were.

0:51:380:51:43

And I went into work and just happened to mention it to one of my colleagues,

0:51:430:51:47

who's sister is from a letting agency and she said they'd just got this place come up.

0:51:470:51:51

-So we had a look at it that day and just decided we'd go for it.

-Yes.

0:51:510:51:54

It sounds like a good deal for everyone.

0:51:560:51:59

Landlord Mark has done minimal work while his new tenants,

0:51:590:52:04

Andrew and Nicola have got a new home quickly and at a lower rent.

0:52:040:52:07

We're getting the rent cheaper than it would be ordinarily,

0:52:090:52:12

because we're doing the decorating and the DIY, things like that.

0:52:120:52:17

And then after we've done that it should stay the same.

0:52:170:52:20

Hopefully!

0:52:200:52:22

Nicola and Andrew have mentioned that over time they'll just improve

0:52:220:52:27

their living space, which obviously suits me perfectly.

0:52:270:52:30

In return, I'm happy for them to let the property from me for as long as they like.

0:52:300:52:34

Gradually they've been sprucing the place up and adding personal touches to make it feel homely.

0:52:370:52:42

One of the first rooms the couple wanted to tackle was that tired old bathroom.

0:52:440:52:49

When we first moved in, this bathroom was pretty grim.

0:52:490:52:52

It had green wallpaper, it had dirty green carpets.

0:52:520:52:56

So we pulled up the carpets, put some new flooring down, painted the walls white,

0:52:560:53:00

installed a brand-new blind and a brand-new shower and some shelves.

0:53:000:53:04

As well as doing the bathroom, the couple have also decorated the bedrooms,

0:53:040:53:09

one of which is now a dining room.

0:53:090:53:11

They've also freshened up the sitting room.

0:53:140:53:17

Surely that's all they'll do as it's rented accommodation after all?

0:53:170:53:21

This is the kitchen. Obviously, very, very '70s, outdated decor.

0:53:210:53:27

Not one of my favourite rooms, I have to admit.

0:53:270:53:30

I think, once we've got the money to do it, it's going to be a long-term project.

0:53:300:53:34

When we can afford to do it, when we've got the time, maybe just replace the walls.

0:53:340:53:39

I don't mind the tiles, they'll probably stay. But sort out new flooring,

0:53:390:53:42

change the cupboard doors, just freshen it up, give it a modern look.

0:53:420:53:46

Sort out that ceiling, get rid of the light and maybe some spotlights.

0:53:460:53:49

Just, like I say, freshen it up, make it more modern, a nicer space

0:53:490:53:52

to work in, rather than this very retro, pretty grim kitchen.

0:53:520:53:58

But it's functional, so that's the important thing.

0:53:580:54:01

That's potentially a big expense.

0:54:030:54:05

They shouldn't spend too much on things they can't take away.

0:54:050:54:09

-So far, money-wise, I think we've probably spent a couple of hundred at least.

-Yes.

0:54:090:54:13

I think we want to replace the carpets, definitely in here and in the bedroom.

0:54:130:54:18

We definitely need to replace the carpet in the dining room,

0:54:180:54:22

that lovely, orange carpet.

0:54:220:54:23

But it's just a case of when we can afford to do that, we will.

0:54:230:54:27

They may want to make some more changes to the bungalow, but what are Mark's impression so far?

0:54:280:54:34

This is the first time I've returned to the property since the tenants have moved.

0:54:340:54:38

I am delighted with what they've done to the property and how they're looking after it.

0:54:380:54:43

They're ideal tenants and as a landlord I cannot ask for more, really.

0:54:430:54:48

Mark's pleased with the improvements.

0:54:500:54:52

But has the rental value been affected?

0:54:520:54:54

We asked two local estate agents for their thoughts.

0:54:540:54:58

It's an interesting bungalow. It's got plenty of space inside and out.

0:54:580:55:03

Good part of South Warrington

0:55:030:55:05

but obviously needs improvements in places.

0:55:050:55:08

The property does need substantial modernisation to attract a better

0:55:080:55:13

market, both in terms of the market to sell and the market to rent.

0:55:130:55:16

Mark paid £88,000 for this property at auction and is currently getting £395 per calendar month.

0:55:190:55:25

So is that about the right rental rate?

0:55:250:55:29

With the slight improvements that have been made

0:55:290:55:31

I would expect to put it on the open market for at least £395-£450 per calendar month.

0:55:310:55:37

I would say a rental here of approximately £450 per calendar month, in its present state.

0:55:370:55:43

Those rental valuations seem to be in line with what I'm thinking.

0:55:430:55:46

I'm currently happy with the rent I'm achieving for this property and what I paid for it.

0:55:460:55:52

And as long as Nicola and Andrew are happy, I'm happy too.

0:55:520:55:56

This seems to be a win-win situation.

0:55:580:56:01

Nicola and Andrew get a home at the lowest rental price and Mark has tenants looking after his property.

0:56:010:56:07

What are the couple's long-term plans?

0:56:070:56:10

Long term, I think we'll stay here for a while.

0:56:100:56:12

Yes, we've got quite a good set-up, haven't we?

0:56:120:56:15

We can do what we want with the place, make it our home.

0:56:150:56:18

It's somewhere we can see ourselves staying for a while, definitely.

0:56:180:56:22

And when we've finally got a deposit to buy our own house, we can move on.

0:56:220:56:27

I just hope Andrew and Nicola don't get carried away

0:56:270:56:30

and spend all their deposit on this rented accommodation.

0:56:300:56:34

Well, that's all we've got time for.

0:56:360:56:38

We hope that today's properties have surprised, inspired and entertained you.

0:56:380:56:43

Join us next time for more Homes Under The Hammer.

0:56:430:56:46

-See you then.

-Goodbye.

-Goodbye.

0:56:460:56:48

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:57:050:57:08

E-mail [email protected]

0:57:080:57:11

Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit a five-storey guest house in Hampshire, a two-bedroom property in Kent and a bungalow in Cheshire. All of these properties have been sold at auction and we'll find out who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.